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Wilko Johnson - Blow Your Mind (2018)

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Wilko Johnson - Blow Your Mind (2018)

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1 	Beauty 	
2 	Blow Your Mind 	
3 	Marijuana 	
4 	Tell Me One More Thing 	
5 	That's The Way I Love You 	
6 	Low Down 	
7 	Take It Easy 	
8 	I Love The Way You Do 	
9 	It Don't Have To Give You The Blues 	
10 	Lament 	
11 	Say Goodbye 	
12 	Slamming

Bass Guitar – Norman Watt-Roy
Drums – Dylan Howe
Guitar, Vocals – Wilko Johnson
Harmonica – Steve Weston
Keyboards – Mick Talbot

 

‘Blow Your Mind’ is Wilko’s first album of new material in 30 years, and is the sound of a man feeling very much alive.

Joining Wilko on the album are his long-standing band; Norman Watt Roy on bass and Dylan Howe on drums along with producer Dave Eringa who worked with them on the gold-selling album ‘Going Back Home’ with Roger Daltrey. Describing the record as ‘The album I never thought I’d get to write’ it deals with the trials and tribulations that he faced in the last five years, songs such as Marijuana and Take It Easy deal very directly with the terminal diagnosis he was given.

Speaking about the first sets of lyrics that he’d written in three decades Wilko says “It’s tricky when you get to seventy years old, because what am I supposed to be singing? “I love you, baby, but you done me wrong?” Come on! That’s kind of a problem. But I never thought that I’d be the sort of person to write songs about different sorts of real-life experiences until I got sick”.

Anyone expecting that Wilko’s particular brand of R&B to be softened by such heartfelt lyrics is in for a surprise, if anything his guitar style of ‘the chop’ as he calls it, is even more aggressive. The introspection of some of the tracks on the album is more than balanced out by the good time upbeat party feel of the title track, Beauty and I Love The Way You Do that have the urgency of Wilko’s earliest work with Dr Feelgood. ---Product Description, amazon.com

 

Blow Your Mind is where Wilko Johnson gets back to business, writing his first collection of original songs in 30 years. A lot happened in those three decades, particularly the 2010s, when Johnson battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer which was misdiagnosed and eventually cured. Johnson's public profile grew during this period in the mid-2010s, thanks in part to the storming 2014 album Going Back Home, a collaboration with Roger Daltrey that helped push Johnson back into the spotlight. Julien Temple's 2015 documentary The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson, which chronicled the guitarist's illness and comeback, sealed the deal on the revival, but Johnson didn't get a chance to cut a brand-new record until 2018. Blow Your Mind benefits from that delay, as Johnson had the time to write 12 solid senders while his band continued to settle into their skin. Johnson doesn't write about his brush with death so much as his current perspective. He's a man who knows the end could arrive at any time, so he's choosing to celebrate living, having some fun and fire as he does so. This spirit helps lift Blow Your Mind above its occasional mannerisms -- the production is slightly too clean and punchy, the songs are proudly within the blues tradition -- because the songs are infused with sharp details and performed with gusto. It's heartfelt and gutsy, performed without flash but with steely spirit, feelings that elevate Blow Your Mind above many of the other records in Johnson's solo discography. ---Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic Review

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